► New Ford Fiesta ST200 unveiled
► Packs more power and torque
► Added poke helps it combat rivals
Ford has injected the Fiesta ST with a hearty shot of performance to create the limited edition ST200.
With a double digit boost to power and torque, the super-ST closes the performance gap to gruntier rivals from Peugeot and Renaultsport, while a stealthy makeover includes Storm Grey paint and matte black alloys.
Production starts in June and the Fiesta ST200 will go on sale for around £21,000.
What'll she do, mister?
The ST200's headline power output is, unsurprisingly, 200PS – or 197bhp for the traditionalists. That's almost 10% up on the current 182PS ST, which continues in production. Torque rises from 177lb ft to 214lb ft.
Revised breathing and engine mapping deliver the extra poke, which gives power parity with the Renaultsport Clio 200 and hauls in Peugeot's 208PS GTi. The ST200 also has an overboost function, which squeezes yet more oomph from the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine: there's a 15-second window of maximum attack, unleashing an additional 15 horses and 22lb ft.
Aside from the extra poke, Ford has also shortened the final drive ratio. The ST200 is claimed to be punchier in second and third gear as a result, and very tractable from low revs in fourth, helping avoid downshifts. The ST200 accelerates from standstill to 62mph in 6.7sec, shaving two-tenths off the regular ST's time. Top speed is 143mph.
The ST's sports chassis – including torque steer-managing front steering knuckles, a quicker steering rack and lower and stiffer suspension – is carried over. The ST200 also employs torque vectoring, which brakes the inside front wheel during cornering to help quell understeer, and three-way adjustable stability control. It's a set-up that has made the regular ST the sweetest handling supermini hot hatch.
What else makes the ST200 special?
The grey paint is bespoke, as are the 17-inch machined black rims. Inside, the ST200 gets part-leather charcoal Recaro buckets with silver stitching, silver seatbelt flourishes and illuminated tread plates. Expect Ford to limit production to perhaps 500 units.
'The ST200 takes a special driver's car to a new level of power and performance. I think it's a future classic in the making,' said Joe Bakaj, Ford of Europe's product development vice president.
It's certainly a very nice present to fast Fiesta fans, as the supermini gears up to turn 40 this year.
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